It’s Earth Week and to get your kids to be more Earth-friendly, I think it really starts with us setting an example. The best statement I saw on what WE can individually do to help the world be a better place was from Wilcox as quoted in the National Geographic blog:
“When you think about climate change, it’s hard to reduce our carbon footprint, because we have to go through a fundamental shift in our economies. With plastic, when you’re throwing a bottle cap on the ground, that should be an easy impact to get rid of.”
Simple, yet so powerful! Here are 10 other simple ways we can teach our kids about this compiled by Cher from Eco-Bravo, as a guest post on a blog that I really like “The Right Balance” by Salma, a writer and a mom of two:
“Children are great imitators, so give something great to imitate” We can use these early years to reinforce good habits and create the “normals” of their lives. For my family, it’s “normal” to recycle, compost, walk in the forest, ride bikes, use natural cleaners, bring our own bags for groceries, use cloth napkins for mealtimes and reusable lunch and drink containers.
The absolute best and lifelong gift we can give our children is a connection to nature. If you want to raise kids who will turn into teens and adults who want to protect the earth, give them a love and understanding of nature, make it part of who they are.
Here are 10 ways you can begin earth-inspired norms in your own family:
1. Go for nature walks. Learn the names of trees, flowers, birds, bugs and teach your children to look, listen and touch.
2. Plant a garden. Kids love peas picking and carrots! Growing and eating food that your kids helped plant and pick will give them valuable knowledge and understanding of where food comes from.
3. Teach your children the names (and tastes) of all fruits and vegetables.
4. Eat whole foods that kids can recognize and bake/cook with your kids. This is essential to the deeper connection of how the earth feeds us.
5. Make yearly visits to a working farm, where kids can meet hens, goats and sheep and try to pick some eggs; and visit organic farms to pick berries in the summer.
6. Take nighttime walks or go camping (even in the backyard) and look at the stars.
7. Swim in lakes, not just pools
8. Attract birds to your yard with a bird feeder or a birdbath.9.
9. Teach your child to turn off lights when not in a room, turn off water while brushing teeth and put paper in the recycling or apple cores in the compost, instead of just using the garbage.
10. Play outside. Simply spend time outdoors: riding bikes, going to parks, having a picnic, going to the beach, kicking a ball.
Alexandra T. Greenhill, Earth inhabitant, mom of three, CEO founder of myBestHelper